The National Football League has taken a nosedive since the start of the 2014 season.
Top players with supposed high moral fiber have been involved more with court cases and hearings than playing football.
Ravens running back Ray Rice started the mess by abusing his then fiancé during the offseason. The story dragged on from the two-game suspension to the tape being discovered of him actually knocking out his wife in an elevator. The NFL suspended Rice indefinitely, and the Ravens released him.
The worst news came when Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was indicted on charges of beating his four-year-old son. The pictures were brutal, with cuts being shown all over the child’s body. Peterson had been previously viewed as the embodiment of character in the NFL.
The fallout continued as Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy and Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer were also charged with domestic violence. People were even calling for Commissioner Roger Goodell to step down after last week.
Goodell answered with a simple statement: “I got it wrong with the Ray Rice incident.”
Goodell might win the award for understatement of the year. The commissioner’s lone job is to protect the NFL shield and show how the league is conducting itself as professional. Goodell failed the fans, the league and, most importantly, the victims in these cases.
I accept Mr. Goodell’s apology, but what I won’t accept is that he is getting a second chance to fix things. He does not deserve that chance. I think he should step aside and let someone else clean up the mess he has made.
The beginning of the Ray Rice suspension was a joke. A two-game suspension teaches Rice absolutely nothing about what he did wrong. It tells him that hitting women will still give him the opportunity to make money this year and be a part of the world’s greatest game.
This is a massive cliché that the punishment did not fit the crime. Rice, Peterson, Hardy and Dwyer need to be removed from the game this season and should not return until they understand that “They got it wrong.”